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Chip stocks have crushed the market this year, and a Wall Street analyst believes the industry's strong performance will continue.
The iShares PHLX Semiconductor ETF has rallied 22 percent year to date versus the S&P 500's 10 percent gain through Wednesday.
"We hosted about 35 semi/semi-cap management teams at our annual Chicago Investor Summit this week. The tone from management teams around business trends was largely positive, in contrast to investor base that has concerns around inventories and the cycle, which makes us think that semis have an upward bias," Jefferies analyst Mark Lipacis wrote in a note to clients Thursday.
"We found the AMD and NVDA discussions among the most positive."
Here are four buy-rated chip stocks recommended by Lipacis, along with his current price targets.
1) Advanced Micro Devices (AMD)
Lipacis has a $19 price target on Advanced Micro Devices shares, which is 50 percent higher than Wednesday's closing price.
"AMD discussed positive market reaction to its server MPU [micro processing unit], EPYC, which follows the successful launch of its high end desktop MPU, Ryzen. Our own checks indicate interest in EPYC from five separate hyperscale [data center] players, and a tightness in supply of EPYC MPUs. Management also expressed confidence in its ability to achieve its target gross margin bogey of 40-44%."
2) Nvidia (NVDA)
The analyst has a $180 price target on Nvidia shares, which is 9 percent higher than Wednesday's close.
Nvidia "management believes that its data center business is still in the early innings and expressed confidence in its opportunities for growth in both the training and inferencing markets. The company believes it is moving closer to broader deployment of its Auto platform, Drive-PX2, and also believes its gross margins continue to drift up."
3) Smart Global Holdings (SGH)
Lipacis has a $23 price target on Smart Global shares, which is 25 percent higher than Wednesday's close.
"The mix of smartphones continues to trend towards premium models with higher memory configurations, driving content for SGH's Brazil Memory business. We think this content and ASP [average selling price] growth translates to operating leverage on SGH's manufacturing assets there."
4) Xilinx (XLNX)
The analyst has a $78 price target on Xilinx shares, which is 18 percent higher than Wednesday's close.
"XLNX noted its software development environment (SDAccel) is now in private beta at AMZN. This expands the pool of programmers that can access FPGAs [field-programmable gate arrays] in the cloud, and is a step towards AMZN's vision of accelerating applications on AWS [Amazon Web Services] using FPGAs without users having to do any extra programming."